‘Railroad Tigers’ Derails Itself Rather Quickly

Railroad Tigers

At his best, Jackie Chan is an unparalleled mixture of action and comedy. There’s nothing quite as thrilling as peering up Chan as he blends the speed and fury of Bruce Lee with the physical comedy of Charlie Chaplin while performing stunts so outlandish that would give Buster Keaton second thoughts. The latest Jackie Chan effort, Railroad Tigers, should be the action legend’s version of The General with its comedy and action hijinks set on a train during wartime. However, while the intentions are obviously there, Railroad Tigers doesn’t really share much in common with The General as the action is choppy in its editing accompanied by dodgy CGI and jokes that are so broad that they simply fall flat.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1941, Ma Yuan (Chan) leads a ragtag group of misfits that raids the railroads along the countryside and pilfer the supplies of the Japanese forces. This band of rogues aren’t soldiers but are compelled by a national duty to combat the Japanese led by Ken Yamaguchi (Hiroyuki Ikeuchi). Despite a few run-ins, Yamaguchi has been able to arrest Ma Yuan, always arriving a minute too late. One evening, Ma Yuan and his cohorts are shocked when a wounded soldier Daguo (Darren Wang) stumbles into their presence with the Japanese on his trail. They hide the bleeding man from his pursuers and soon learn of his unaccomplished mission. With his wounds hampering his ability to stealthy carry out the demolition of a bridge occupied by the Japanese, Ma Yuan and his associates take on the dangerous mission.

Director Ding Sheng reunites with Chan following the underwhelming to Police Story: Lockdown to equally underwhelming results. While Lockdown completely avoided even the slightest sense of humor and stuck with incomprehensible action, Railroad Tigers is much more a comedy than action epic and yet Sheng hasn’t shown much of a knack for directing either. The humor is extremely broad, sometimes misguidedly so, such as with a trite gag about seppuku. It’s a gag that could work if perhaps it was willing to go all the way with the violent nature of the joke, but it’s entirely toothless. The action within Railroad Tigers that Sheng has progressed some with visual clarity in capturing the shots, though the editing suggests that he hasn’t figured out how to match two of ‘em.

Even with the dodgy CGI, Railroad Tigers might’ve been able to be considered passable entertainment had it not contained one of the most overly convoluted, overstuffed scripts imaginable. There are so many characters – and every character no matter how minor gets a flashy comic book-styled title card that further pads the film’s bloated running time – and the set up for what should be a rather straight-forward plot is incredibly hard to follow. Sheng and co-writer He Keke can’t find a flow to the story and characters beats so the whole thing fails its story and characters in equal measure. It’s all so incredibly frustrating to behold because there are numerous ways that all these moving pieces could’ve been wrangled up into an entertaining whole.

As much as I love Jackie Chan and admire what he’s going for here, it still doesn’t allow me to forgive the slapdash construction of Railroad Tigers. This is a film that shovels a lot of coal and blows a lot more smoke but that doesn’t mean it’s comfy or worthwhile trip. The engine that drives this machine isn’t running smoothly, billowing with noxious smoke because it’s running on a hollow fuel that burns too quickly. Though it’s obvious what’s wrong with the engine of Railroad Tigers, I can’t tell if anyone’s driving the locomotive.

Shop Deadpool tees in our officially licensed Marvel store!

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
‘The Gifted’ Red Carpet Photos from SDCC 2017

We recently covered the Fox red carpet for the new X-Men...

Will Smith, Joel Edgerton and Cast Talk about ‘Bright’ at the SDCC 2017 Press Conference

This past weekend, Will Smith, Joel Edgerton and the rest of...

Batman and Harley Quinn Review
The Dark Knight Lightens Things Up – Batman and Harley Quinn Review

One of my favorite things about the influx of hero content...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
blade runner
BLADE RUNNER 2049 – Atari Partners with NECA and Audiowear

Atari announced a partnership with leading action figure and collectibles maker...

atari
Atari 2600, Sega Genesis, and Handheld Prices Announced

AtGames announced pricing for its Fall 2017 lineup of classic gaming...

Sega Details Activities in New Yakuza Kiwami Trailer.

Sega released a new trailer showing of the various side activities...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
viz
VIZ Media Announces New Manga and Literary Acquisitions At Anime Expo

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), a premier company in the fields of...

9.0/10
Supergirl Makes Contact in ‘Supergirl Being Super’

Title: Supergirl Being Super #4 Writer: Mariko Tamaki Artist: Joelle Jones...

9.0/10
Marvin Attacks!

Title: Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian Writers: Steve Orlando and Frank J....

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Alter Ego Release Groot and Deadpool for SDCC

From Alter Ego – Cary, NC: Florida based lifestyle accessories company,...

Hasbro SDCC2017
The Most Notorious Booth at Comic-Con, Hasbro SDCC17 Line-Up

Hasbro to Showcase Its Top Entertainment & Fan-Favorite Brands at the...

atgames
AtGames Announces Pre-order Date for New Atari 2600/Sega Genesis Consoles

AtGames announced that pre-orders will start on July 28th for the new Atari...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Bellator MMA Signs Gegard Mousasi

From Bellator MMA – LOS ANGELES — Bellator MMA is proud...

New Japan Pro-Wrestling G1 Special Live from Long Beach, CA

July 1, 2017, Long Beach, CA – Tonight, for the first...

Bellator Announces Broadcast Duties For Historic Event At Madison Square Garden On Saturday, June 24

From Bellator MMA – LOS ANGELES – With the recently announced...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Comics on the Can: Schick Hydrobot and the Transformers

Written by John Barber, Pencils by Steve Kurth, Inks by Juan...

Star Wars Themed Lands Will be the Perfect Safe House for the Rebellion and the First Order

Disney’s D23 Expo has revealed a lot of what is to...

Paul Bottos, The Ultimate Mickey Mouse Collector

What makes a fan an ultimate collector? Is it the size...

Event News Event Reviews
Black Panther Custom 2018 Lexus LC
Lexus, Marvel Unveil Black Panther Custom 2018 Lexus LC @SDCC

From Lexus – SAN DIEGO (July 18, 2017) — Today, on the...

lezhin
Thousands Swarm Lezhin at Anime Expo

Multiple times per day at Anime Expo this year, the aisles...

Symbiosis
Shmaltz Brewing Releases the Collector’s Edition Star Trek Symbiosis Ale

SHMALTZ BREWING CELEBRATES THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF STAR TREK: THE NEXT...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming.

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Lahna Turner’s ‘Limeade’ is a Hilariously Haunting Comedy Album

Many people are roll their eyes at the idea of musical...

Prince’s ‘Deliverance’ Reminds Us of Who We Lost

On Friday, April 21st, it will be one year since we...

Sabroso Fest, How can you go Wrong with Beer, Tacos and Lucha Libre!?!(Photo Gallery)

The Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco and Music Festival sponsored by 95.5...